Manfred Has an Easy Decision to Make on Chapman

Due to the disturbing actions of a few players, Ken Rosenthal reports that Rob Manfred is in a “no win” position when doling out punishment in these cases. 


The only way that Manfred is in a no-win position is if he doesn’t came down hard on Jose Reyes and Aroldis Chapman. You want to know if he did his job in suspending these players?  He needs to be able to look Joe Torre, Baseball’s Chief Operating Officer, in the eye and explain to him he did the right thing. 

For those that are unaware, Torre started the Safe at Home Foundation to help the victims of domestic abuse. It was started out of his experiences with an physically and emotionally abusive father. Torre saw his mother beaten by his father. His father was never arrested. No charges were ever brought. It would finally end when Torre’s older brother, Frank, was finally able to stand up to his father at the age of 20 and kick his father out of the house. 

So when I hear about how Chapman’s girlfriend, the mother of his child, didn’t press charges, I scoff. It’s not a defense to his actions which allegedly include pushing her against a wall and choking her. After the alleged attack, she fled the house because she was scared for her and her daughter. At the same time, Chapman was firing a gun off in his garage. 

Of course, she didn’t cooperate with police. Domestic violence victims don’t always cooperate. Some would say they rarely cooperate. Reasons for the lack of cooperation include a fear for your safety for cooperating with an investigation, wanting to reconcile, and/or the financial pressures that would ensue if there were a separation or conviction.  Don’t believe this is the case?  Look no further than Torre. 

Yes, Chapman is innocent until proven guilty. However, that principle only applies to criminal courts. In the court of public opinion is not held to such standards. More importantly, here, Major a League Baseball is not held to such a standard.  They are not beholden to a victims refusal to cooperate. They can and are able to conduct their own investigation and implement their own punishments. 

If there is any proof that Chapman did indeed choke his girlfriend, he should be suspended for the year. Let him appeal the suspension as he says he will. Let an arbitrator be the one to be weak on the domestic violence issue. Commissioner Rob Manfred can’t appear weak.  That doesn’t mean he’s in a no-win situation, it means he has an important decision to make. 

That’s the job. 

Unfortunately, he’s got a resource in Joe Torre. I say unfortunately because no one should have to live through what Torre did growing up. Hopefully, after these and many other discussions and analyses, Commissioner Manfred needs to make the right decision. He needs to be able to look his Chief Operating Officer in the eye and tell him he came down hard on the players that attack women.  He can’t look like a hypocrite, like the Yankees owners and front office will, when they attend the Safe at Home Gala. 

The only person right now in a seemingly no-win position is Chapman’s girlfriend. Conmissioner Manfred has an easy decision to make. He just has to have the courage to do what’s right. 

Editor’s Note: this article also appeared on